City of Tyler conducts sewer system test

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - If you happen to see white steam coming from rooftops in Tyler, don't be alarmed. Inspection crews with Pipeline Analysis - an engineering firm specializing in sewer system testing - is conducting a survey of the city's wastewater system.

"You might notice the smoke being injected into the sewer manhole," Manager of Wastewater Utility Systems Michael Norris said. "The smoke travels through the sewer lines and it will exit out the vent pipes in homes and it will also exit any defects in the pipe.

The city has used the "smoke testing" system for years. This process locates breaks and defects in the wastewater system that homeowners may not know about.

"Well, the homeowner may not know about it now, if it's inside the home we try to identify that, or they will identify it almost immediately that there is a situation inside their home," he said.

Norris said homeowners will know if there is a break in their sewer line by the presence of the white smoke.

"You should not see smoke in your home unless you have a defective sewer pipe or if your p-trap under your sink or for your tub is dry, if it has not been used in a while," he said.

But it is normal to see the smoke exiting through the sewer vent pipes on the roof of homes.

Norris said the gas is non-toxic and will not harm people or pets.

Community members said they're glad the city is making an effort to improve any sewage problems.

"It's a good effort because people don't like sewage to be backed up in their homes or outside of their homes because sewage stinks [...] and could be deadly to you," community member Trevescia King said.

In the long run, Norris said these tests will help improve the city's overall infrastructure and provide a more efficient wastewater system.

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